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Intel’s ‘One API’ Project Delivers Unified Programming Model Across Diverse Architectures

What’s New: Today at Intel’s Software Technology Day in London, Intel engineering leaders provided an update on Intel’s software project – “One API” – to deliver a unified programming model to simplify application development across diverse computing architectures.

“One API is a project to deliver a set of developer tools that provide a unified programming model that simplifies development for workloads across diverse architectures. As our breadth of compute has grown to include specialized accelerators, Intel will deliver software solutions that allow developers to get the full performance out of the hardware.”
– Bill Savage, Intel vice president and general manager of Compute Performance Developer Products

Why It’s Important: As the world’s data-centric workloads become more diverse, so do architectures that process that data. Intel’s breadth of architectures span scalar (CPU), vector (GPU), matrix (AI) and spatial (FPGA). These architectures, often referred to at Intel with the acronym SVMS, require an efficient software programming model to deliver performance. One API addresses this with ease-of-use and performance, while eliminating the need to maintain separate code bases, multiple programming languages, and different tools and workflows.

An example of where Intel provides customers with this cross-architecture capability today is Intel® Distribution of OpenVINO™ toolkit, a software developer toolkit that delivers consistent, optimized deep learning inference capabilities across Intel SVMS architectures.

How It Works: One API supports direct programming and API programming, and will deliver a unified language and libraries that offer full native code performance across a range of hardware, including CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs and AI accelerators.

  • Direct programming: One API contains a new direct programming language, Data Parallel C++ (DPC++), an open, cross-industry alternative to single architecture proprietary languages. DPC++ delivers parallel programming productivity and performance using a programming model familiar to developers. DPC++ is based on C++, incorporates SYCL* from The Khronos Group and includes language extensions developed in an open community process.
  • API-based programming: One API’s powerful libraries span several workload domains that benefit from acceleration. Library functions are custom-coded for each target architecture.
  • Analysis and debug tools: Building on leading analysis tools, Intel will deliver enhanced versions of analysis and debug tools to support DPC++ and the range of SVMS architectures.

What Developers Should Expect: Intel will release a developer beta and additional details on the One API project in 2019’s fourth quarter.

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